"Villain" Hamilton unfazed by Ferrari fans' booing

Italian GP winner Lewis Hamilton was not concerned by being booed on the Monza podium – and insists that he is happy to play the villain for the partisan crowd.

"Villain" Hamilton unfazed by Ferrari fans' booing
 A mass of red Ferrari fans on the circuit after the race
 Third place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, borrows a TV camera to film the crowd
 Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, on the podium
 Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, Second place Third place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, on the podium
 Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, takes a photo from the podium

The Mercedes driver took a dominant victory on Ferrari's home soil, as the Italian squad struggled to match its rival's pace.

Hamilton was booed by the Italian fans while on the podium, but he said it was normal that they wouldn't give him a good reception on a day when Sebastian Vettel finished only third.

"To be honest, I had a real nice song playing in my head, and it kind of went over my head," said Hamilton of the booing. "It's to be expected here in Italy.

"I think over the last five, six, seven, 10 years it's been common to have that if a Ferrari driver is not on the top.

"Inevitably you're going to be the villain here, if you're the one that's stopping the Ferraris. If I wasn't driving today and Valtteri wasn't driving today, the Ferraris would have won.

"We are the villains. Some days I'm happy to be the villain, and I really don't mind. I think I just try to remain respectful. I admire their passion. They feel a little bit more like football fans here, the aggressive ones. But it's all the name of love for the red cars."

Hamilton, a four-time winner at Monza, insisted that he did have some support at Monza.

"In amongst them I see there's a British flag, I see there's Italians that have crossed over from Ferrari to Mercedes.

"And bit by bit – there's a lot of people to convert, and a lot of people won't convert – but bit by bit, and year on year, I'll convert a few more."

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